Warriors star Johnson to miss up to eight weeks

New Zealand Warriors star Shaun Johnson has been ruled out for up to eight weeks due to a knee injury.

The playmaker hurt his knee in the Warriors' 34-22 loss to the Penrith Panthers in the NRL on Friday.

Initially, there were fears the 26-year-old New Zealand international had torn his anterior cruciate ligament.

However, the Warriors confirmed on Monday that Johnson had ruptured the posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, ruling him out for "six to eight weeks".

"This is a much better outcome than we had expected," Warriors team doctor John Mayhew said.

"We had believed the injury was likely to be an ACL but scans have indicated this isn't so and Shaun won't need surgical intervention to repair the injury."

The Warriors are 11th in the NRL, four points behind the eighth-placed St George Illawarra Dragons.

The better than expected news is a boost for New Zealand, with Johnson almost certain to be available for the Rugby League World Cup starting in October.

Panthers lock Trent Merrin also suffered a knee injury in Friday's fixture and will face a similar spell on the sidelines.

According to a statement, Merrin "suffered a high grade medial collateral ligament tear, which does not require surgery" while offloading to assist Tyrone May's debut try in the Panthers' win.

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